Piracy is Normal, Piracy is Boring: Systematic disruption as everyday life

Litwin Books
Publication Type:
Piracy: Leakages from Modernity, 2014, pp. 323 - 353
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What is often called ‘digital piracy’ is nowadays a mundane and everyday activity shared by millions of people. As such, piracy is a commonplace disorder within the order of information capitalism; it is both created by the ubiquitous orders of information capitalism and suppressed by those orders. In the myriad points of view of its participants, piracy represents an order that is implicit within contemporary life, an order/disorder that we will call ‘pirarchy’. For non-corporate producers, it constitutes a way of distributing their work that both threatens their ability to survive off that work, while also potentially opening previously unavailable possibilities of acquiring income or status from their products, or gaining expertise through direct, unmediated contact with fans and audiences. Many corporations see it simply as a disorder that threatens their future. We assert that pirarchy is a non-resolvable part of what we have elsewhere called the ‘information disorder’ – that is, the way that exchange of information, or the accuracy of information, tends to be disrupted by the political and economic processes of information capitalism.
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